Starting with at least 24 conditioning and rehabilitation devices by this fall, a Toledo firm is working to change the way athletes, firefighters, and others keep their torsos and upper legs in shape - and avoid lower back pain.
Turning Point LLC, founded by a Connecticut man who noticed retirees had inadequate strength and flexibility while golfing, is offering the first set of machines to college and professional teams, therapists, trainers, and others willing to offer feedback.
The plan is to sell machines in the low $20,000 range, said F. Alan Schultheis, Turning Point founder and chief executive.
The machines, variations of which will be developed for gym and home use, target 28 muscle groups while users are standing and operating them in a rotational fashion, Mr. Schultheis said. Initial, professional-use machines will be able to adjust to users' size and needs, measure their progress, and show how well the average person in their age category performs, he said.
"It isn't enough to just build a muscle independently," Mr. Schultheis said.
Turning Point has received more than $1 million in private funding, including from Mr. Schultheis. It has received $500,000 from the Regional Growth Partnership and nearly $500,000 from the University of Toledo Innovation Enterprises program.
Turning Point is working with Toledo's Lockrey Manufacturing to build the machines, which will be outfitted with electronics from Pinnacle Technology Group Inc. of Toledo, said David Greenberg, Turning Point vice president, chief operating officer, and chief financial officer.
Turning Point has three full-time and five part-time employees, he said.
Vijay Goel, a UT professor in the colleges of engineering and medicine, directed research and development for the device.